Background: To improve training for the next generation of researchers to engage in community-based participatory research (CBPR), we reflect on our experience offering an applied participatory research methodologies graduate seminar.

Methods: This article is written from the perspective of a university professor/course director, a community partner, and a master's student who took the course. First, we describe our unique context. Second, we provide a general overview of the planning and implementation. Third, we illustrate what happened from our three perspectives. We conclude with recommendations.

Results: We each shared our unique perspectives on the strengths, opportunities and challenges associated with teaching/learning through engaging an applied CBPR project. There was consensus that our timelines were tight, the workload was heavy, communication was tricky, and we could have used more resources. Nevertheless, we all appreciated everyone's deep engagement and investment in the collaborative processes, the development of new skills and our success in gathering important evaluative feedback with efficiency and expediency. We agreed that this was a rewarding experience that we would repeat.

Conclusions: Mounting a course in this fashion requires a strong community–university partnership, that is supported with substantial preparatory work, human and financial resource commitments, and contingency planning. We recommend transparency, communication and managed expectations.